The Christian watchdog group One Million Moms (1MM) has started a new campaign targeting the skin care brand Dove after it released a "disturbing ad" promoting its new product line, Baby Dove.
The group wrote on its website that the ad features young women sharing their thoughts about motherhood. While there's nothing wrong about that, 1MM said the ad took a wrong turn when a cross-dressing father appeared. The father, who was trying to pass off as a mother, said, "There's no one right way to do it all."
The cross-dresser is a male grad student named "Shea," who says he and his wife are both "moms" to their newborn son.
"You read that right, Unilever has a Dove soap commercial featuring a father dressed as a woman saying he is the baby's mom!" the group wrote. "'Shea' inarguably has a sex. He is objectively and immutably a man. The lowest-bar requirement for mothers is that they are objectively female. The essential feature of mothers is their objective sex as females."
By cross-dressing as a woman, the father has virtually abandoned his son, 1MM said. He is sending the infant the message that he is not happy with his role as a father, so he'd rather be another mother.
The group believes the message is wrong because the son will grow up longing for a father who isn't "a public spectacle." The young boy will grow up missing a male role model who will teach him to love his own maleness.
1MM contacted Unilever to express their views. In response, the company issued an apology, stating that it is never their intent to offend anyone. "Our ads are designed to be informative, truthful and 'in good taste.' The agencies creating our advertising adhere strictly to our guidelines," the company said in a statement.
"In developing product messages, we may not always anticipate all possible implications of a television commercial. We appreciate hearing your comments. Our company thanks you for being a loyal consumer to our brand. We will report your comments to our Marketing staff," the Unilever statement added.